N.H. snowmobile crashes injure 6; medical emergency kills a 7th person
Five Massachusetts residents and a New Hampshire man were injured in separate snowmobile crashes in the Granite State over Presidents’ Day weekend, and a Bethlehem, N.H., man died after experiencing a medical emergency while on a snowmobile excursion, officials say.
■ Daniela Fomin, 47, of Swampscott was riding a snowmobile in Gorham late Saturday morning when the vehicle tipped over onto Fomin as she attempted to pass over a small hill, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department said in a statement.
Family members went to Fomin’s aid while emergency responders came to the scene; she was later taken to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin, N.H., for treatment and evaluation, the authorities said. Fomin was wearing a safety helmet, officials said, and the rollover is believed to have been caused primarily by inexperience.
■ Brandon Quinn, 57, of Meredith, N.H., suffered life-threatening injuries after his snowmobile hit an ice pressure ridge on Lake Winnipesaukee around 1:15 p.m., officials said in another statement.
Quinn, who was wearing a helmet, was riding a snowmobile from Alton Bay to Meredith at about 45 miles per hour when he struck the 1½-foot ridge, which caused him to fly off the vehicle and strike the frozen lake, authorities said. Emergency workers took Quinn to Concord Hospital for treatment.
“Ice pressure ridges are formed on floating ice by the buckling or crushing of lateral force caused by wind and currents,” New Hampshire Fish and Game explained. The formations are common on large bodies of water in New Hampshire but can blend into the landscape, the department said.
■ Michelle Brouillard, 54, of Attleboro suffered potentially life-threatening injuries when she lost control of her snowmobile on a sharp turn on Jefferson Notch Road in the township of Low and Burbank’s Grant and hit a large tree, the authorities said.
Members of Brouillard’s group called for help around 4 p.m. Saturday while assisting her in getting back to the trail, officials said. The Twin Mountain Fire Department used a tracked all-terrain vehicle to take Brouillard out of the woods and to an ambulance, which took her to Littleton Regional Healthcare. Brouillard also was wearing a helmet, the authorities said, and her crash is believed to have been caused primarily by inexperience.
■ Jennifer Topping, 38, of Lowell was injured in another Gorham snowmobile crash around 11 a.m. Sunday. Topping had left a maintained trail when she ran into a ditch, causing her to swerve into a wooded area and strike a tree, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department said in a statement.
Topping was taken to Androscoggin Valley Hospital. She was wearing a helmet, and her crash was believed to have been caused by inexperience and inattention, the authorities said.
■ Another incident initially reported to New Hampshire Fish and Game as a snowmobile crash turned out to be a fatal medical emergency, officials said in another statement.
Conservation officers responded to a report of an accident in Bethlehem at 3:40 p.m. Sunday and found relatives and passing snowmobile riders attempting to revive John Doherty, 67, of Bethlehem, the Fish and Game Department said.
Doherty had been snowmobiling with family members when he paused and climbed off the vehicle to help out with another snowmobile that had become stuck on an icy hill, the authorities said. Doherty then collapsed. Efforts to revive him using CPR were unsuccessful, and Doherty was pronounced dead at the scene.
■ A little later Sunday afternoon, Michael Patti, 37, of Fitchburg was riding a snowmobile on Lake Potanipo in Brookline, N.H., when he lost control and the vehicle rolled on top of him around 3:47 p.m., the authorities said.
Patti, who was not wearing a helmet, was taken by helicopter to UMass Memorial Medical Center with life-threatening injuries; “speed and alcohol may have been contributing factors” in the crash, which is under investigation, according to the authorities.
■ In the final incident reported, Laurie Towle, 46, of Wilmington was injured Monday while riding with family and friends on a snowmobile trail in Littleton when the group reached “a very steep and icy section” where Towle’s vehicle slid sideways and then rolled over multiple times, the authorities said.
Towle was seriously hurt, but her injuries were not considered life-threatening. An ambulance took her to Littleton Regional Healthcare. The main factors in the rollover were believed to be the icy trail and steep terrain, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.